The Anambra State Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Police Brutality and Related Extrajudicial Killings (“the Panel”), concluded hearing on SPACES FOR CHANGE’s | S4C’s petition against the notorious Awkuzu SARS and SARS Nnewi on the 30th day of March, 2021. Consistent with its pursuit of justice for victims of police brutality, extra-judicial killings and #EndSARS protests, S4C petitioned the Anambra judicial panel last December, on behalf of Mrs. CWD, the sister of one Mr. CYX (deceased), who was summarily executed by officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Awkuzu, Anambra State, sometime in 2012.
The deceased, a father of 4, worked as a trader at Ifitedunu in Dunukofia Local Government area in Anambra State until August 5, 2012 when he did not return home from work. Every attempt made by family members to find him was unsuccessful. Eventually, a family member spotted him behind the van of the 1st Respondent: Awkuzu SARS. On October 8, 2012 the Applicant visited the office of the 1st Respondent but was told that the deceased has been transferred to the 2nd Respondent at Nnewi: SARS Nnewi. That same day, the Applicant went to the 2nd Respondent’s office and found her brother detained on the allegation of being a native doctor that prepares charms for criminals. The deceased was killed in custody without being charged to court.
The panel’s hearing on the petition began last December and resumed in March 2021. S4C led Mrs. CWD, the deceased’s sister in evidence on the 16th day of March, 2021 where she adopted her sworn affidavit accompanying the petition and demanded compensation in the sum of Fifty Million Naira for the extrajudicial killing of her brother by SARS operatives. Sequel to the respondents’ continuing refusal to honor several summonses issued by the judicial panel, S4C’s legal team applied for a foreclosure of the respondents’ right to cross examine the petitioner. The Panel granted the application and the matter adjourned to the 30th day of March, 2021 for Defense or Final Address. On the 30th day of March, 2021, the respondents again, refused to appear before the panel to present a defense to the petition. On that basis, S4C’s legal team addressed the Panel on the evidence adduced before it and applied that testimony of Mrs. CWD be deemed as admitted and uncontroverted by the respondents. The Panel adjourned sine die for recommendation to the Anambra State government.
S4C continues to provide legal representation to victims of police brutality and #EndSARS protests before national and state panels, and high courts of justice across states. S4C’s legal advocacy for victims of human rights abuse is supported by the Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR) and the Ford Foundation.